In Conversation With: Raelle - UK's Breakout Musicians
Say hello to neo-soul artist Raelle as she talks about her own journey navigating the music industry.
Part 3/6 of UK’s breakout musician series.
This week we spoke to 24-year-old neo-soul singer Raelle about her experience finding her sound and breaking out into the music industry.
Raelle began her journey with music as a child, singing in church choirs and later emerging into classical singing. From that point, she told us, she knew she wanted to start to make music and began crafting songs. The artists' sound is unique and interweaves soul with various genres such as electronic, reggae and RnB. We asked Raelle what other artists she had been stylistically influenced by, and she said, 'I have been influenced by a lot of old soul, new soul and different kind of artists. I really like Kadhja Bonet, Lucky Daye and Cleo Sol. At the moment, I'm more into this kind of orchestral soul sound'.
Raelle began releasing music in 2020 and since then has dropped an EP called Wake up Sunshine and three singles (Grace, Wait for You and Close to You). We asked Raelle what inspired her lyrically, and she responded broadly, saying, 'Anything in my everyday life. A lot of my songs come from a place of sadness but I think I want to try and change that. I spoke to someone the other day who said it is braver to write about the good things in life rather than the sad things. It is harder to look for the good and it is easier to look for the bad. From this, I want to change my direction'.
When asked about what inspired her most recent single, Grace, Raelle responded, 'Writing Grace, I was angry and sad- but at the same time. So I wanted a beat that was off-tempo, to give it some pace and then I also wanted a deep bass line. That's where I started with it, just to get those two emotions there; then I wrote it. I felt sorry for myself but also angry and bitter at the same time. It was a mix of emotions'. Prior to releasing Grace, Raelle opened up about her apprehension in releasing the single. She told us 'I was so nervous putting that song out and I got so much love for it which I wasn't expecting. It's because it sounds different to what I have done before and what I have heard, and I was scared that people wouldn't like it. The amount of love I got for it was so nice and that was a surreal moment for me. It was an affirming moment that confirmed that you just have to trust yourself, trust what you like and trust your intuition. It affirms that whatever you put out and love the most is going to get love back'. Grace is a raw and emotive single that explores the longing for help from oneself and others following a fractured relationship.
Breaking out, Raelle spoke of her experience as difficult, but she has since learnt to trust her own sound and not feel the need to prove herself. In a surreal moment in her career, Raelle performed at the Albert Hall. Speaking on this experience, Raelle said 'I wasn't expecting it at all. The room was packed and there were 300 people in that audience, all watching me sing. It was so strange. I think getting recognised and heard by people, and my performance having the intended effect. That was a woah moment for me'. Adding to this, Raelle spoke of how much she enjoys gigging - 'I think when I'm there and when I sing live – it's a better experience. I always put a lot of effort into the gigs that I do and I hope it spreads by word of mouth. It adds more substance to my music I think'.
Speaking on what she would like to achieve in her career as an artist, Raelle said 'I would like to create a body of work that stands the test of time. Something that resonates with people in 20 years time as well as now. I want a message in my music and an amazing sound, and for it to be extremely intentional with every note, soundwave, word and placement, to have a purpose. I just want to create purposeful music'.
Raelle's music contributes a new sound to the modern soul genre and is exceptionally unique.